Posts Tagged “American Style”

In “Swinging American Style: Texas F*ck ‘Em”, rock ‘n roll drummer Phil Varone invites viewers to have a raw inside look at the actual life style of real swingers who are regular, everyday people who happen to love couple swapping.

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To develop a polished, mainstream sound, while sounding authentic, is a difficult task for a musician to create, and sometimes for fans of the underground to genuinely appreciate. Los Angeles, California’s Einvera, with their take on technical death metal, has done the unusual by formulating their debut record, In Your Image,  to represent metallic pop culture, while acknowledging the underground in one fell swoop.

Bands like Bullet For My Valentine and Blackguard, are often maligned by the underground for their at times bubblegum-esque take on melo death and folk elements, but the same cannot be said for Einvera. In Your Image, is a host of top technical chops that resemble a combination of the two previously mentioned bands, as well as Dark Tranquillity and any number of tech/prog death bands in the news as of late. This album could have easily spiraled into Revolver magazine, as “breakout artist of the year” with a sampler CD in the back of the magazine or something (which it still may), but the crux of the album is it’s ability to grab the listener with it’s whimsical, folksy vibes that usher in a carefree essence to it’s brutality, but without becoming a charicature. Bands like Blackguard, who perform similarly to Einvera are downright bad, because they are cartoonishly stereotypical, with little in the way of substance, Einvera though, are articulate with their riffs, and allow folk elements to never become stale, especially with the inclusion of bluegrass elements, or latin folk elements, to provoke an American style folk into their music instead of the just the carbon copy gypsy music that has become a staple on these types of albums. This is a key difference, and a defining moment for this band, despite it being only their first album. Much of the criticism of bands like this, is that they only adopt the European styles of folk, but Einvera clearly consider their American roots to be as important as European style folk.

Vocalist Grant, who based on my research seems to be kind of the heart of the band by not only performing the vocals, but also all of the non-traditional instrumentation, which ultimately adds to the individualism to the band’s sound. His guitar, is much more in tune with prog metal and Dark Tranquillity’s rhythmical fluidity, than say the balls to the wall fury of Obscura. Zac, the drummer, provides the perfect levels of drum intensity depending on the mood of the track, be it a subtle prog interlude, or an all out blast beat-a-thon; this guy is on point with any style that the band deems worthy.

In Your Image is a solid album for any fan of metal, as is hits on all the right points to make this a very enjoyable album without any fluff, and really is a natural successor to the modern American technical death metal style en vogue these days. Take note Unexpect fans, THIS is how to perform this style!

Similar Artists: Blackguard, Dark Tranuillity, Unexpect

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Lifeforce has always been one of those foreign labels (from the American perspective of course), that maintains a consistent connection with the American metal pulse. They were one of the first labels to introduce metalcore, American style melo death, and even deathcore to the European masses by supporting locally raised acts, alongside some American stalwarts, most of whom would go on to become some of the biggest names in the business (do Trivium, Between the Buried and Me, Caliban and Withered ring a bell?). Lifeforce are a viable commodity in the underground, especially as an alternative label to the Nuclear Blasts, Massacres and Spinefarms of Europe that cater to more traditional forms of metal found in the motherland. Now, Lifeforce is set to wreak havoc with yet another upstart, The Last Felony, who are set to release their second album, Too Many Humans, this August. Does Lifeforce have the know how to supplant yet another rising star into the psyche’s of metalheads the world over? Not likely.

Too Many Humans is from the so called Montreal tech death style that has brought about Cryptopsy, Neuraxis and Beneath the Massacre amongst others. Granted, Montreal has a very successful run with it’s death metal bands, but the problem with the success of individual cities, is that the more bands they pump out, the quicker the scene stagnates. Basically, The Last Felony, while not hacks, are grossly unoriginal and are merely towing the line of success brought forth by their Quebec brethren.

The Last Felony, as I seem to mention time and time again with these kinds of reviews, are wholly capable of blasting the ice off of the Saint Lawrence River during January, but their riffs are so standard that it could supplement virtually any modern North American tech death act. This is most definitely not “deathcore,” so no worries to those who may shy away from that. Too Many Humans is pure death, through and through, but that doesn’t make it good.

I understand why Lifeforce signed these guys, they are doing essentially what they have always done as a label, they are taking advantage of the pulse of the metal world and grabbing up a very effective technical band that could rival the likes of many of their peers. Small labels must work like this, they either have to stay ahead of the game (which Lifeforce does as well), or bring in marketable bands that take advantage of current climates. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it can breed contempt amongst label loyalists. The Last Felony will have no problem finding success in the industry if they play their cards right, but Too Many Humans has nothing to offer to this growing sub-genre.


Similar Artists: Beneath the Massacre, Neuraxis, Necrophagist, The Faceless

1.    We Are Future Housing Developments For Maggots
2.    Too Many Humans
3.    No One Would Notice If You Died
4.    Do Not Defend Me
5.    Quandary
6.    Most Unclean
7.    Overrated Existence
8.    Televisionary
9.    Water Cooler Suicide

Joss Fredette – Vocals
Dom Grimard – Guitar
Felix Roberge – Guitar
Vince Menard – Drums
Sébastien “Seb” Painchaud – Bass

Lifeforce Records

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Is it just me, or did everyone else think that Braindrill had called it quits because the band members got caught with weed in Canada, or because a member left the band mid-tour or some shit like that? I am probably way off with that assertion, but I was surprised to see a new Braindrill album, Quantum Catastrophe, the follow up to 2008’s excellent Apocalyptic Feasting. No longer will the world have to yearn for the likes of Necrophagist or Beneath the Massacre in order to get their tech death fix (just seeing how many people I can piss off with that comment…).

Equating to nothing less than a technical juggernaut, Braindrill never cease to amaze me with their jaw dropping skills. I don’t care if they use Pro Tools or any other digital device to give them an advantage (or nothing at all perhaps? Not assuming here!), these guys put virtually all of their peers to shame with not only technicality, but creative riff transitions that don’t hold back from launching into an old school American style 80’s death metal breakdown. There isn’t deathcore bullshit, in fact, there isn’t a hardcore breakdown or “slam” beat on thie whole album! Being able to bring “interesting riffs” with technical precision is an art that few bands are able to accomplish without sounding stale and repetitive (Cryptopsy and Nocturnus come to mind as good examples). While many technical bands, such as Immolation and Origin may be whole heartedly technical, they are also mind numbingly boring at times. Take this for what you will since most tech death has a very loyal, wide fanbase, but for us picky listeners who need a little more variation from riff to riff, Brain Drill’s Quantum Catastrophe is a sure fire way to get your rocks off.

The only downside is, despite having varying degrees of riffs, Quantum Catastrophe is breakneck speed with as many riffs shoved into 5 minutes as possible. If you want tempo changes, moodiness, or some other characteristic, then don’t trust that what Brain Drill brings to the table will give you satisfaction, since what they dish out is a predictable style, no matter how well done it may be.

Essentially, if you don’t know what you are getting yourself into when listening to this album for the first time, buckle up, because the ride doesn’t stop, with many twists and turns on the way. If you are looking for the lazy river for your musical equivalent theme park ride, then look elsewhere.


Similar Artists: Cannibal Corpse, Beneath the Massacre, Obscura, Immolation

1.    Obliteration Untold
2.    Beyond Bludgeoned
3.    Awaiting Imminent Destruction
4.    Nemesis of Neglect
5.    Entity of Extinction
6.    Mercy to None
7.    Monumental Failure
8.    Quantum Catastrophe

Steve Rathjen – Vocals
Dylan Ruskin – Guitar
Ivan Munguia – Bass
Ron Casey – Drum

Metal Blade Records

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